SECOND SEASON COLUMN 18

#HumpsRoll in a SoCon Showdown, Whos #2 is a MACnificent mess, Lehighs peasantly improved, Python style, and the All Overlooked and Underrated team, 174lb weight class

AND THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST…STORY PARAGRAPH, THAT IS

Turning this column around like South Dakota States dual meet record last year/this year, here’s a couple of fellows you haven’t heard or read much about. That stops NOW. The All Overlooked and Underrated Team, 174lb class..

Neal Richards, VMI

The unquestioned leader of this years Keydets, Richards is 17-3 with more bonus point wins (15) than the rest of the team combined. BAH! 4 times he’s been the only Keydet to win a match in a dual. His 3 losses, to UNCs Devin Kane, Campbell’s Andrew Morgan, and Penn States Mark Hall, are way in this seasons rear view mirror. Bet here is at least one of them will be avenged, maybe 2. 174 is a locked and loaded weight class again this year, and smart money says there may be no AA status for Neal this year. Well, smart money don’t know everything. Richards is odds on favorite for another All Academy Tournament Title, contested this weekend at Norwich, VA. (BTW, Note to Army West Point: your position is indefensible, redeploy!) Fun VMI facts: they have had 2 Division 1 All Americans, Ghana native and 4X SoCon 285lb Champ Leslie Apedoe in 1999, and fellow 4X SoCon champ, 117 match winner and former EMU coach Charlie Branch in 1994. We need a CURRENT EMU coach, folks. Just a point. Catch Keydets highlights on, wait for it, “RooTube”, and check out their “90 seconds of Depth” feature. And their amazing 27 page online wrestling history almanac. They have a winning record against both Army and Air Force. Just sayin.

Brit Wilson, NIU

A Column 3 story subject (with corrections, and apologies) Wilson is 17-3 and fulfilling the promise of his 23-4 RS season last year. Brit won’t beat Missouri masher and 3X All American Daniel Lewis in this Fridays dual, (and his teams 3 match win streak will end) but he should be favored the rest of the way out. Might not be but should be. Doubters, seeing Ohios tough Arsen Ashuygan, Michigan States Drew Hughes, and Kent States Dylan Barreiro all in a row after the Lewis match, should look at Wilsons run to 3rd place at the Midlands Tournament. Made the semi finals, got pinned, shook it off, and hasn’t lost since.

CAMELS WILL BITE YOU, YOUSEF

Appalachian States bearded, musket wielding mascot missed the head shot and Cary Kolats Campbell Camels rolled into Boone, NC, and hump-footed it out with a 19-17 win. They did it the hard way, too, facing the heart of App States lineup to start the dual meet and dropping the first 3 matches. Then, Kolat and Kompany hit the #RollHumps switch and won 4 straight before a home team comeback put App State back in front and set up a 174lb winner take all match. The Camels Andrew Morgan was more than up to the task, earning a major decision win and handing the Mountaineers their first conference loss in nearly three years to the day. That January 2016 upset loss to Gardner Webb spurred App State to a 5 out of 6 regular season/conference tournament title run. The first Mountaineer win in that streak was over the Scribes beloved UTC Mocs. Is Campbell readying a similar run? Time, effort and Coach Ruschells Chattanooga squad will tell. Right now, the SoCon regular season title goes through Buies Creek. Feel a song coming on. Nope.

MIZZOUS MARRIED, EVERYBODY ELSE BE MAC ‘IN

The Missouri Tigers took the Mid American Conference title before the season started, and then they made it official with a 32-15 drubbing of a wet behind the headgear Central Michigan team. This column generally concerns itself with teams aiming at the top 10, not those who have purchased property in that gated community, but, MIZZOU….33 straight dual wins, 70 of the last 71, winners of every MAC tournament title since they joined the conference, 4 straight top 10 national finishes with a 5th coming this March in Pittsburgh. OK, so you’re #TigerStyle. THAT DON’T IMPRESS ME MUCH…DAH, DAH,…actually, it does, a lot. So, who’s number 2? Well, it’s complicated. In conference competition Old Dominion is 3-2, Central Michigan is 2-2, Ohio University is 1-1, Buffalo is 1-2 but 8-4 overall with matches left against Central Michigan, Ohio, and NIU, all at home. ODU dropped a heartbreaker to Buffalo at home, but has two conference matches left to help make things right, SIUE at home and Ohio on the road. Ohio University’s road seems the bumpiest with 5 conference matches left, but Coach Joel Greenlees Bobcats do not quit…ever. SO much confusion. See what happens when you go MAC’in? Looking at you, SIUE. Fondly. Sadly. See Column 12.

BRING OUT YOUR DEAD, BRING OUT YOUR DEAD

Coach Pat Santoros Lehigh MountainHawks have found new life after a God-awful, Monty Python-esque, pursued by Zombies, stuck in a Thanos snap moment start to their season. How bad was their beginning this year? Well, Sisyphus sent them a condolences card. Then Lehigh played Rock/Paper/Scissors and lost all 3. Lost to Penn State (not a bad thing) 42-0. (A no good, VERY bad thing). LOST 7 STRAIGHT DUAL MATCHES. So, wha happen…The Rock steady Santoro, his coaches, and team, just said “D@mn the Torpedoes full speed ahead!” And, the Scribe suspects, Nando must have sprinkled some of his magic dust over their sleeping heads down South Beach way. Lehigh left Florida with a double digit beatdown win over a good Virginia team and they just kept going. 34-12 over game Bucknell. A MASSIVE 19-16 win against Top 10 Cornell. 25-12, win, against A-U. And then a 28-6 smashing of Navy. Will Lehigh win the rest of their duals?Probably not. Most of them? Maybe. At this point, Senator, what does it really matter? A HELL OF A LOT. No team has had this kind of mid campaign turnaround since Shaka Zulu realized his Assegai* was useful for something other than ceremonial dances. Go Lehigh, you back from the dead wonders, you!

See you next week!

Ted Carreras

*Its a short war spear, not a body part. Don’t get it twisted. That would hurt.